For the second part of professional practice, we were asked to:
come up with a project which would showcase our course and everything had to be planned and organised by us the students. (STUDENT CONFERENCE)
To build a portfolio of 15 to 20 photos which will be reviewed by different photographers and agents (PORTFOLIO REVIEW)
create a promotional video to promote ourselves. (PROMOTIONAL VIDEO)
complete the second part of PDP
Student conference is a student-led event where students can decide whether to do critical debates, engage with wider professional themes and innovation.
This would help us develop professionalism, critical thinking and employability. It was timetabled from the 13th till the 15th February.
With the whole class, we decided to hold a speaking event with Commercial Photography Alumnus that have been in the course years ago and now have a career in the photography industry. We also decided to hold an exhibition that is open to family and friends in the function room of the pub Roundabout.
Initially, I was very confused about the whole student conference brief as I did not understand what we had to do, but then as a class, we all decided to hold an exhibition or portfolio reviews, we then ended up choosing to have an exhibition and the speakers from PCA alumni and then we started assigning roles. Stuart and I had to do the Itenary for the day, so we had to wait for the confirmation of who and how many speakers we would receive on the day.
We ended up having Dom Moore, Jesse Bright, Andy Ford, Irina Ijina, Codie Hobbs, Louise Visson Jutson and Tony Fitzsimmons
This was the itinerary for the day:
10:00 Codie Hobbs
10:15 Dom Moore
10:30 Louise Visson Jutson
10:45 Tony Fitzsimmons
11:30 Irina Iljina
11:45 Jess Bright
12:00 Andy Ford
15:00 Open to Public
In the morning few of us and Nick went to get the stands for our photos whilst others were setting up the space we had in the Pub. The first talk started around 10 then we had a little break and the rest of the speakers had their presentation too, after lunch we had Q&A with all the speakers where we could have asked all the questions we wanted but not many had questions to ask, I think it was because many were able to talk to them during lunchtime. For example, I talked to Irina, as I was impressed by her work I saw previously, she did not present anything as she said it reminded her when she was a student and photographers would come as speakers and end up only showing off their work and that made her feel slightly discouraged so she did not want to do the same with us.
She is now a freelance retoucher and she works from home and that is something I would really want to do when I finish university, so she gave me advice and tips of how and where to look for this type of job and I thought she was really useful and honest.
I was also very impressed by Tony Fitzsimmons experiences in the sea, I would never think photography can go to that extreme, as in photographing real-life scenes in the middle of violent tides. Codie Hobbs made us understand how hard and sacrificing it can be to become a photographer, Andy Ford emphasized the same but also reminded us to always try and ‘make it happen’, making us understand that if we want to succeed is all up to us and how we take the opportunities that come our way. Dom more made us understand through his history that even if you are not a perfect and really good student during your university years it shouldn’t define your work, as if you still keep shooting like he did even when he dropped uni you will make it, but he also urged us to take advantage of the time we have in the university to be creative, experiment and use and learn all the possible equipment which we have the possibility to use. Afterall, it was really encouraging and interesting to hear the different experiences they all had since they left university.
Student conference has really prepared us for next year when we will have to organise our summer exhibition, now we know how organised we have to be and how important it is to communicate, work together as a team and how important each one of us is in participating and bringing ideas.
I wasn’t too sure of how it would have ended up but to be honest it went better than we all expected.
The second part of the day which was the exhibition which wasn’t as great as the first part because not a lot of people turned up.
For this module, our lecture organised a portfolio review on the 10th May where we had to produce a portfolio of our strongest work which included 15 to 20 photos that reflected our style and we had to show it to photographers and other practitioners in the industry for them to give us feedback.
We had the chance to choose 2 photographers who would review our portfolio. Our lecturer was able to invite 9 people from the industry, not only photographers but also agents. We had the possibility to choose between Jenny Bishop, Jamie Caruthers, Ray Massey, Edwin Ho, Sally Bell, Dom Moore, Jimmy Watkins, James Edgar and Barnaby Girling.
Straight away I was interested in Edwin Ho’s work and booked a review with him. I initially wanted to print my images, in fact, I had half of them printed in a box but then I decided not to have it printed but digitally, reason is I am still not sure about my portfolio there are many images I would like to take off but if I do take them off I will remain with fewer images so I’d rather have it digital still and then from next year I’m planning to shoot even more so I can have stronger and much more photos than I have now and when I will feel that my portfolio is strong enough then I will print it.
On the day we all arrived at 9 to help our lecture to get the room all ready and set up and welcome our guests.
Then the reviews started straight away, I was the last one to showcase my work to Edwin Ho so in the meantime I was reading the Bio and interesting work on the photographer’s website and realised how many questions I had to ask him, in fact when it was finally my turn we had a really interesting conversation and he was really impressed by my work.
Till that day I was sure I had my own style but made me notice how I was unconsciously following two different styles and understand what he was talking about. He was also very sincere about how brutal the fashion industry is but did not discourage me instead encouraged me to go forward within the industry.
I was really happy from the feedback I received and straight after the day was over I went home and followed him on Instagram the next day when I woke up I received a message from him asking me if I was still looking for an internship or apprenticeship.
I have also emailed him and now I’m hoping to assist him during the summer.
I am very happy that my lecture organised this portfolio review because it was really useful and the fact that she got different people from the industry to come down was really good because we had people from agencies, fashion, sport and still life photographers so everyone in the class could choose the person who had a similar work to theirs.
In addition, if it wasn’t for this I wouldn’t have met Edwin Ho and have the possibility to work with him.
PROMOTIONAL VIDEO RESEARCH
I looked at different promotional videos but most of the ones I found were all portrait, nature or wedding photographers and they did not really reflect my style and what I wanted to do but I still took inspiration from them.
Watching this videos I noticed they were all with fewer cuts and very slow music in the background and I think it works well for their theme as a wedding photographer but for not for fashion photography, I think I need a lot of cuts and fast flashy shots.
In the first part of this module, we were asked to create a business card, a logo, a name and invoice. We had to promote our business or practise through social media and by networking. We got to know more about a different type of insurance, which we would need as a photographer.
Firstly I changed my logo as it wasn’t matching with the practice which I want to follow, at the end of the first term I came up with a logo which I thought would work and around March I decided I wanted to change the logo and the name again.
I decided to go back with the initial name I had, which was ‘Sdoks Photos’ as I feel ‘Sandra A.Doku photography’ is just too long. I then recreated other logos and ended up choosing this one:
I think I like this and I decided to keep it very simple.
I have not changed my website and business card, although I am planning to open a new website by using square space as I think Wix makes the websites look less professional.
I still haven’t got any insurance I only made some research on it and planning to get insurance by the end of the year.
I have finally started using the invoice I created, I sent several invoices to clients in my client brief module, having an invoice makes me look very professional.
Since Rebecca Swift came to speak to us and made the positive comment about Instagram I have become very active as I post much more than I used to. However, my LinkedIn page really needs updating and I’ve also realised I really need a professional photo for the profile and I’ve also started using another site called ‘Starnow’ which helps you find work experience and little jobs in the photography industry and this sites requires the subscribers to have their professional photos on it.
This year I have been lucky enough to have had two portfolio reviews one in London with Philip Haynes and another one weeks ago here in Plymouth with Edwin Ho. I was really pleased with the feedback I had from both and their honest critics about the fashion industry, making me understand that the fashion industry is very competitive and brutal but if I persevere and with hard work, I can get through. They both really encouraged me.
The goal for this year was to get at least two work experience but I failed, however, I was able to make few contacts this year and I’m hoping I finally get the chance to work with them over the summer.
I still do not have a Twitter account.
For the second part, we had to update our portfolio with the strongest work that we’ve ever produced and that reflects our style. I wanted to print it but I still feel my portfolio isn’t strong enough, I’m giving myself time till the end of the third year before finally printing it, by then I’m hoping I would have stronger photos to include.
In this module, my class and I had to organise an event for student conference and we decided to hold an exhibition and a speaking event inviting the old PCA alumni to give us tips and tell us about their experiences in the photography industry since they left University.
At the beginning planning and organizing was really difficult as we did not cooperate as a group but at the end, we were able to come up together and the event went better than we all expected.
We also had to do a promotional video, I found really easy to edit but initially, it was difficult to come up with an idea but then after I had a clear idea of what I wanted and then Laura helped me film it. Compared to last year it was really hard filming this video because this time it was about me and my work and I really find it hard to be in front of the camera rather prefer being behind, however, it didn’t come out as bad as I thought. Overall, Professional Practise really helps me to have a clear understanding of where I am at the moment, where I want to get and how and what I have to do to get there. The PDP form really reminds me of how time is flying and soon enough the future will be the present and if I really want to the reach the goals I have in 2, 3 or 5 years time I really have to start working from now.
This module presents us with new challenges and opportunities, we are asked to find clients and work experience in the photography field and use all the skills we’ve gained so far to produce a significant body of work for each client.
I am planning to look for assisting jobs, work experience, I will try enter competitions, get published and most of all I’m hoping I will be able to find clients.
This is a list of Photographers I am planning to contact.
Olgapopovych_photography is a London-based Portrait, Fashion and Lifestyle Photographer. I noticed her work when she photographed two couples from my favourite Italian Reality Show.
Abi Oshodi He is a London-based Photographer and Digital Artist.
Sally Rose Photo is a Portrait & Fashion Photographer based in London and she is represented by Muse. I really love her style and think I could learn so much by assisting her.
Ruth Rose Photo is a Fashion & Celebrity photographer I follow on Instagram and she is based in London.
Edwin Ho is a Fashion, still life photographer now based in Devon. He has worked for big companies like HARPER BAZARS, National Geographic, Nokia and Elle etc.
Rachel Smith is a London-based photographer represented by Blood and Co.
Nadine Ijewere is a south-east London born photographer, her work focuses primarily on identity and diversity.
I assisted April Mitchel on her Shoot for her book. I was the second assistant after Will. We set up the lights and assisted her with anything else she needed during the shoot. The shoot went really well and I learn new technicalities from the third year students. I did take some behind the scenes shots with my phone to document few things, unfortunately, I’ve lost most photos from the shoot.
The client brief assignment has been a very challenging one because it wasn’t easy at all to find clients and most of the time I found myself working on something I wasn’t fully confident in doing. The positive side of this assignment is that I’ve learnt new things and it has been a good way to test myself. In this assignment, I shot most of the photos in studio and this was a good way to refresh my mind since I haven’t been using the studio for some time. Initially, I really thought I was not going to find any clients at all because I did email a lot of people but had no response. When I finally got some clients I had to schedule my timetable and organize my days well as I had to make time for this as well as keep my secular job and this was really challenging.
I really enjoyed meeting new people and working with them, for example, the last shoot I did with the makeup artist I enjoyed the most. I had about 8 clients at the beginning but then ended up doing only 4, the reason is that one client had to drop everything the night before the shoot because her son wasn’t feeling well and it was a family shoot in the studio which would have included the kid as well, and since then we still haven’t rescheduled the shoot, so I’m hoping to do it probably next month or sometime during summer. About 3 photographers have offered to give me assisting jobs during the summer, which I am really looking forward too. I have an upcoming shoot on Tuesday 29th of a Third-year Law student at Plymouth University which needs professional studio shots to use for her CV and LinkedIn. The fashion students have also asked me to photograph their summer Fashion Show on the 7th June. Additionally, I’ve got two shoots booked for Mid June in London, for a Fashion PR based in London and a youtube vlogger. On the third of June, I will also take pictures of my friend’s mum birthday party. And I wasn’t able to participate in the school shoot.
I ended up doing less client, I was hoping to do more, but finding clients wasn’t easy at all, I was even quite surprised I managed to find clients but I did and the good one of them was also paid.
This assignment has definitely made me more confident in communicating with people, being more organised and timekeeping. It has also encouraged me to shoot more next year and get more clients. This has also shown me how important it is that we use our time in University to shoot and experiment what WE want because as soon as we get real-life clients we would have to stick to the brief they will give us. This is how I felt during this assignment, I couldn’t plan how the shoots should have looked like I always had to discuss it with either the fashion student, the promoters or the makeup artist because at the work was mainly for them and I was only shooting what they asked me.
Thanks to this assignment I made new contacts, for example when I shot for Afrodonzuk, the owner of the nightclub got my contact and was hoping I could photograph their next event and take photos of the nightclub for their website.
Today, photographic images play a key role in defining global fashion culture and in influencing the young generation. Since the 1990’s, fashion photography has commanded an increasing share of public consciousness. Fashion photography is not only seen in magazines or fashion shows but also in galleries, auction houses, socials and museums and this has given it the chance to influence many people in how they view themselves. Fashion photography has challenged ideals of beauty but it has been paying little attention by the scholarly and critical community.
Its role in the marketing and selling of garments, has helped it to gain status in the eyes of visual and cultural studies.
Fashion has a great impact on people for example it can determine which style or colour could be the trend of the year or what pair of shoes people will have to wear to look cool.
According to statistics 80% of young women aged between 12 to 19 years are the most influenced ones.
I found an interesting article titled: “ Why Do Beauty Standards Change?” and it talks about how just one image can change your beauty standards and it quotes:
The human brain is extremely suggestible. It’s constantly being molded by what you see and experience around you, and it absorbs new information throughout your life. So when you see ads for vitamins that feature extremely thin women as an “ideal” of fitness, your brain is quick to pick up on that messaging.
Fashion photography can really influences the way we dress but also and most of all the way we want to look like, it pushes us not to appreciate how we look like but instead to appear according to the idea of beauty within the Fashion industry. Fashion determines what people should look like and with the help of photography, visuals reach out many people and plays a strong part in changing their mind.
DO MORE RESEARCH ON WHAT IS THE
Now, what is an idea of beauty? It said it’s an entity which is admired, or possesses features widely attributed to beauty in a particular culture, for perfection.
The ideas of beauty changes with time and from place to place for example in the western world the idea of perfect beauty has changed with time. In the Victorian Era fragility and femininity were characteristics that made women beautiful and with a curvy shape just like an hourglass with extremely small waist and with fat it symbolized wealth.
However, today the idea of what is perfect has changed. In the western world the idea of a “thicker” figure is no longer seen as the standard of beautiful, but instead extremely slender is what people prefer. Being skinny is sustained by the fashion industry, by television, internet, and every other form of media available. Even lyrics in songs, to the models being selected for campaigns but for now let’s focus on the fashion industry.
I was using ‘Sdoks photos’ for my photography name. wanted to use my initials but it is not possible as it would be ‘S.A.D’ which is the word sad. I then thought of using Sandra A. Doku photography but I think it is too long. For now I am using Sdoks photos which I think is short and represents my name and surname.
This is how I started my logo, when I had no idea of how I wanted it to look like. I then started doing events and I had the idea of doing a photo collage around my logo and include it as part of my logo.
When I decided that I wanted to focus more on fashion photography I had to change my logo and have something that was more linked to my new style and fashion photography. So I looked at different ideas.
I looked at different logos but only found few interesting ones so I decided to start by thinking of which colours I would like to have in the logo and I thought Magenta, Black and White.
By combining these colours I came up with this ideas:
and after asking people around they suggested what I could have add to eat or what I could have taken off and this was the outcome.
After the formative assessments, though, I had to rethink my logo and I came up with this one, as people suggested as I should make it less complicated and the idea of using my initials wasn’t working.
I am still not too sure about it and I am still working on it.
After Few months I have changed my mind again I will rename it again to ‘Sdoks Photos’
Insurance is a protection you have for your self in case of a financial loss or you damage something which is very expensive. You can buy car insurance, home insurance, travel insurance and even insurance on your camera equipment. Buy buying insurance on this like this you will be covered in case you damage or lose something, you will just have to pay a specific amount each month, it all depends on your insurance policy. You can choose what your insurance should protect you against, then an insurer will calculate the risk which the events to be insured will happen and then they can determine the price you have to pay. You can then choose a policy, pay the premium and make a claim, in case something happens that’s covered by the policy, you can claim on your insurance. Many people do not know how important it is to have an insurance, some of them are compulsory like the car insurance you cannot drive without it, but if there’s something which is really important to you but you are not insured on it then you have to make it. For example, camera insurance, I do not have one at the moment but I am planning to ensure my camera equipment very soon, so, for now, I looked at different companies where I could get insurance for a good price, so far I’ve seen: Protect your bubble, Help U cover, Eversure Insurance and Towergate. The one which stood out to me was Towergate because a friend uses this one as well and suggested to try it as if I pay for a certain amount their insurance could cover not only my camera equipment but I could ensure other things as well.
If you have a business like for example a studio where people come to have their photos taken when you need public liability insurance. The reason is, in case one of your clients hurt themselves whilst in the premises they could accuse you of anything at all. Thanks to this insurance, though, you will be fully covered for any accident which happens to them in your premises. For now, I am not going to get this insurance as I am not owning any kind of business and I do not do anything that could in any way risk the third party. If you work overseas at all, it is important to make sure your insurance policy comes with an adequate passport. Public liability insurance is often sold as part of a larger package, bundled with extra features relevant to your trade.
Companies: Simply business, Hiscox, Premier Business Care, Direct Line, Fast Quote, Churchill, Natwest, Trade Direct Insurance. The price for public liability insurance can be affected predominantly by the company’s annual turnover.
Media Law and ethics
Subdivision of ethics dealing with specific standards of media and principles and it includes broadcast media, theatre, film and arts.
For example, broadcast media in the UK is divided into two categories: public service broadcasting and commercial broadcasting. For example the BBC they are funded by license fees paid by anyone who watches live television, so they don’t have private owners. Private media companies are owned by individuals or families. Broadcast journalists must follow ethical guidelines set out in the Ofcom Broadcasting Code. Newspaper journalists follow ethical codes like the Editors’ Code of Practice. When writing a story journalist must consider both legal and ethical issues. The journalist can report and write about things which are acceptable to the Law and that cannot harm people and they also need to consider Ethical issues, which is writing something which is morally right regardless of what the law says.
Giving those criticised a ‘right of reply’ and respecting people’s privacy, particularly in times of grief or illness its included in the codes. Privacy, News manipulation, conflict with the Law are the most talked topics regarding the Media ethics.
He is the first visiting lecture we had this year. He assisted photographers like Lord Snowdon. He is known for his interiors and still life, he also does portraits and other commercials. After his presentation, we had the chance to have him with us during a workshop around Royal William Yard. Despite the very cold weather it was a really good day and a great opportunity to have tips and listen to what Dylan Thomas had to say about our work and also what I thought was really useful was when he talked about how he promoted himself, I think it helped a lot of us to have more ideas on how to promote our work.
Final images from the day:
We were very lucky to have Rebecca Swift with us. She has been in the photography industry for over 20 years and she is one of the founding members of Getty Images. Now she is responsible for collating and building image collections for IStock. In the morning session, she gave us a brief introduction of herself and what she does and also talked about the different trends, then we all had the chance to show her images of the trends we decided to work on. She gave me tips and suggestions of what I could have changed to make the photo look better. I personally think we were really lucky to have her as a visiting lecture and she introduced us to many interesting subjects I did not know about.
Controversy around borders and building walls from a country to another are rapidly increasing but the global information is unstoppable.
Today everyone has instantaneous access to document and shares stories and ideas in every part of the world, this increases people cultural curiosity.
The trend, Global Neighborhood, shows how everyone is becoming internationally connected. We have never seen many people, in different corners of the world having so much in common, but never before have the things that divide them been so transparent. Recession in North America can destroy jobs in Asia. Aerosol use in Europe can cause skin cancers in South America. Shocking footage about the slave trade in Libya was rapidly diffused around the net and communities around the world reacted to this, by signing petitions, protesting and striking. People are seeing what is going on on the other side of the world and it matters much more now.
The global neighbourhood we have today has many imperfections and it is not equally balanced. Its residents are not all fairly treated; they do not have the same opportunities. Great transformations do not affect everyone equally but it benefits some and disadvantages others.
Industrial restructuring in the North can reduce poverty in the South, at this same time it can enlarge markets for the North. This shows how many states are still depending on other states, in this case the South need to depend on the north to overcome his poverty and it should not be like this, these two states should have had an equal state in an ideal world. This is just one of the infinite cases in this global neighborhood. Thousands are deprived of so many things that they do not even think they belong to a neighbourhood, this situation does not disprove the exposure of a neighbourhood, rather it poses a challenge to reduce alienation among neighbours.
Another main issue regarding global neighbourhood is ‘security’ which is addressed to global issues. Everyone on this planet should feel safe and protected, an expansion of global security that protects everybody not only individual states is needed. This would include banning nuclear, weapons and peacekeeping.
The world itself is becoming a neighbourhood which means that the nations, states and countries are no longer relevant. Everyone should work on how to make the world a satisfactory home for all its citizens. Global neighbourhood is about embracing this state of flux and our collective cultural identities will be less about where we are and more about what we believe in based on our connections.
Many young ones see their cultural identity as complex and flexible. For example, in his magazine “NiiJournal” the photographer Campbell Addy talks about his identity as a gay, British, Ghanaian man and he says: “In the UK I’m not British but ‘Black British’ and in Ghana I am British, not African. So who am I?.
There’s an interesting quote which states: “We can no longer make assumptions about what it means to be from a specific place” and it’s true, here’s another living example. A teenager in Ohio gets his inspiration from YouTubers in Mexico, he listens to London Grime on Spotify and follows funny Snapchatters in Brazil! This also confirms how we are globally influenced through the internet, we are sharing more social media than ever before.
Global neighbourhood is also affecting brands in a positive way, they are re-examining their approach to the world and they are involving these new spaces even more. The Tate Modern used the Switch House to put a greater focus on international artists not typically showcased on the global art stage and the slogan was “Art changes, We change”. The Lagos – based fashion label, Orange Culture, combines Nigerian fabrics and colours with urban western silhouettes.
The circulation of information around the world is having an effect on society and pushing people to change the way they see themselves. According to Mark Zuckerberg ‘The more we connect, the better it gets’. He is planning to open up the web to the two-thirds of the world’s population which is not yet online. His statement is majorly true, to be connected with the rest of the world from home allows people to see different things from other parts and if you want to know more about a different culture you don’t necessarily have to fly all the way to the place because someone there is already documenting and sending the information for free. However, states, as well as people have to change their ways of managing their affairs, they need to develop new approaches for the global neighbourhood in the interests of all.
Technology has been another major influence for this trend, by compressing distance and time, had made the world smaller. For example photographs and equipment which allows us to see what is going on in the space, outside this planet earth.
Global Ethic and leadership are two important factors for the global neighborhood to succeed, without them, frictions and tensions will multiply and strategies will fail.
To be global neighbours everyone needs to adapt new ways of living and viewing each other, as Barbara Ward wrote:
“The most important change that people can make is to change their way of looking at the world. We can change studies, jobs, neighbourhoods, even countries and continents and still remain much as we always were. But change our fundamental angle of vision and everything changes–our priorities, our values, our judgments, our pursuits. Again and again, in the history of religion, this total upheaval in the imagination has marked the beginning of a new life….a turning of the heart, a ‘metanoia,’ by which men see with new eyes and understand with new minds and turn their energies to new ways of living”.
Many people around the world, mostly the younger generation, willingly respond to this issues much more than their governments. Shared values can help people to see beyond clashes and act for a larger and mutual interest.
As impossible as it may sound, all humanity can sustain the basics values of respect for equality, justice, mutual respect and life. This could transform this global neighborhood based on economic exchange into a universal moral community where people are connected by interests or identity and everyone treats others as they would like to treat themselves.